“If you put good people in a bad place, do the people triumph or does the place corrupt them?”
This was the question psychology professor Philip Zimbardo set out to answer in 1971 when he conducted the now-infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. Paid participants were randomly separated into groups of guards and prisoners, with the latter being locked into a makeshift jail in the basement of Stanford University.
The study and its aftermath are the subjects of the 2015 docudrama The Stanford Prison Experiment, directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez and starring Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, and Billy Crudup. Check out the trailer below.
Official Synopsis: In 1971, Stanford’s Professor Philip Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) conducts a controversial psychology experiment in which college students pretend to be either prisoners or guards, but the proceedings soon get out of hand.
But how true to life is the movie? Check out the short documentary below from Grunge: The Untold Truth of the Stanford Prison Experiment. It includes actual footage from the study, offering an illuminating window into what remains a compelling and controversial event. Have a watch and let us know what you think in the Comments section!
Official Synopsis: The Stanford Prison Experiment is possibly the most famous psychological experiment of all time, an insane role-playing game gone horribly wrong thanks to nylon stockings, fire extinguishers, and a sadist nicknamed John Wayne. So what really happened behind those prison walls? Here’s a look at the untold truth of the Stanford Prison Experiment…
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